Posts for category: Dental Procedures
Since we look at our teeth every day, there's a good chance that you noticed your smile is not as bright as you would like it to be. If you're weighing your options between at-home and professional teeth whitening, Dr. Mordena Sullen with MLK Dental Center in Atlanta, GA, is pleased to share the key differences in the procedure.
Professional Teeth Whitening
Performed by dental professionals, in-office teeth whitening is the safer and more efficient bleaching treatment. Any whitening agent consists of hydrogen peroxide, however, dentists are authorized to use bleaching gels with a higher concentration.
There are also different whitening treatment options, such as Zoom, LumiBrite, Opalescence, and Britesmile whitening. Your ideal treatment will likely be determined by your desired results, as well as the consideration of cost and application method.
Prior to treatment, your dentist in Atlanta, GA, Dr. Sullen, will prepare your teeth with a thorough cleaning to remove any plaque or food particles—confirming whether or not your teeth and gums are of ideal health.
A discussion between you and your dentist will help determine the best whitening treatment for you, but most procedures are similar and provide comparable results. Though you'll be able to immediately identify a difference in appearance, the final result will show after a few days.
At-Home Teeth Whitening Treatments
Undoubtedly, whitening your teeth at home offers perhaps the greatest appeal: convenience. Not only is it more cost-efficient, but you're also in the comfort of your own space. However, at-home procedures are less straightforward—there is an overwhelming number of products available, with varying processes of the application.
If electing to whiten your teeth at home, you may not see the results you desire over a short period of time. Naturally, any products you buy yourself and not through your dentist will have a much lower concentration of bleaching agents.
For best results, it's recommended to begin your own teeth whitening treatment after a dental cleaning, as your teeth are at their cleanest.
The results between at-home and in-office teeth whitening are unmatched—directly a result of the difference in hydrogen peroxide concentration. This also may cause you to use your at-home whitening treatment excessively, likely increasing your tooth sensitivity.
Enhance Your Smile With Professional Teeth Whitening
For lasting results, visit MLK Dental Center in Atlanta, GA, to brighten your smile with professional teeth whitening. Dr. Sullen is prepared to discuss the best whitening treatment for you, and encourages you to give our office a call at (404) 752-7777, to book your consultation today!
Nina Parker, the host of Love & Hip Hop for six seasons, is now busy with the new game show Blockbusters and her own talk show The Nina Parker Show. But even with a full plate, she took time recently for some personal care—getting a new smile.
Parker's fans are familiar with her noticeable tooth gap. But a video on TikTok in February changed all that: In the video, she teasingly pulls away a mask she's wearing to reveal her smile—without the gap.
Parker and other celebrities like Madonna, Michael Strahan and David Letterman are not alone. Teeth gaps are a common smile feature, dating back millennia (even in fiction: Chaucer described the Wife of Bath as being "gap-toothed" in The Canterbury Tales).
So, what causes a tooth gap? Actually, a lot of possibilities. The muscle between the teeth (the frenum) may be overly large and pushing the teeth apart. There may be too much room on the jaw, so the teeth spread apart as they develop. It might also have resulted from tongue thrusting or late thumb sucking as a child, influencing the front teeth to develop forward and outward.
A tooth gap can be embarrassing because they're often front and center for all the world to see, but they can also cause oral health problems like complicating oral hygiene and increasing your risk for tooth decay. They can also contribute to misalignment of other teeth.
Fortunately, there are ways to alleviate a gap. One way is to move the teeth closer together with either braces or removable clear aligners. This may be the best approach if the gap is wide and it's contributing to misalignment of other teeth. You may also need surgery to alter the frenum.
You can also reduce less-pronounced gaps cosmetically with dental bonding or porcelain veneers. Bonding involves applying a type of resin material to the teeth on either side of the gap. After some sculpting to make it appear life-like, we harden the material with a curing light. The result is a durable, tooth-like appearance that closes the gap.
A veneer is a thin wafer of porcelain, custom-made to fit an individual patient's tooth. Bonded to the front of teeth, veneers mask various dental flaws like chips, deformed teeth, heavy staining and, yes, mild to moderate tooth gaps. They do require removing a small amount of enamel on the teeth they cover, but the results can be stunning—completely transformed teeth without the gap.
Getting rid of a tooth gap can be a wise move, both for your smile and your health. You may or may not take to social media to show it off like Nina Parker, but you can feel confident to show the world your new, perfect smile.
If you would like more information about treating teeth gaps and other dental flaws, please contact us or schedule a consultation. To learn more, read the Dear Doctor magazine article “Space Between Front Teeth.”
There are several orthodontic treatments available to help you improve and straighten your smile. The MLK Dental Center offers clear aligners for those in Atlanta, GA, and Washington Park, GA, wanting to straighten their teeth. However, it is crucial to know the difference between clear aligners and traditional braces to select the best orthodontic treatment for your teeth confidently. Schedule a consultation with Dr. Mordena Sullen to discuss the options available and how clear aligners can help your teeth.
There are many benefits to getting clear aligners when seeking orthodontic treatment. Clear aligners are becoming more popular, and your Atlanta, GA Washington Park area dentist can help you learn more about this treatment. The appearance, convenience, and comfort of clear aligners make them a popular choice among those wanting a straighter smile. During treatment, the plastic aligners slowly move your teeth into alignment. Additionally, the aligners are clear and nearly invisible, which means you don’t have to worry about being self-conscious about your smile during treatment.
It is recommended to wear aligners most of the day (20-22 hours), but you can remove them for eating and brushing your teeth.
Traditional braces have been treating orthodontic patients for years and are the first thing much think of when considering orthodontic treatment for their teeth. Traditional braces are best for patients with multiple and complicated alignment issues. Braces work faster than aligners; however, several visits to the dentist for alignments and adjustments to the wires and brackets are needed. In addition, unlike aligners, braces cannot be removed, which makes cleaning your teeth difficult, and you have to watch what you eat.
With the different orthodontic treatments available, it is essential to understand the benefits of each one and determine the best one for your teeth alignment needs. MLK Dental Center offers clean aligners for patients in Atlanta, GA, and Washington Park, GA, to help straighten and restore their smiles. Call (404) 752-7777 to schedule your consultation with Dr. Mordena Sullen to discuss the different orthodontic options available.
It's not unusual for serious actors to go above and beyond for their roles. They gain weight (or lose it, like Matthew McConaughey for True Detective). They grow hair—or they shave it off. But perhaps nothing tops what Brad Pitt did to assume the character of Tyler Durden in the movie Fight Club—he had his dentist chip his teeth.
While a testament to his dedication to the acting craft, Pitt's move definitely falls into the category of "Kids, don't do this at home." Fortunately, people deliberately chipping their teeth isn't a big problem. On the other hand, accidentally chipping a tooth is.
Chipping a tooth can happen in various ways, like a hard blow to the jaw or biting down on something too hard. Chipping won't necessarily endanger a tooth, but the missing dental structure can put a damper on your smile.
But here's the good news: you don't have to live with a chipped tooth. We have ways to cosmetically repair the damage and upgrade your smile.
One way is to fit a chipped or otherwise flawed tooth with a dental veneer, a thin wafer of dental porcelain bonded to the front of a tooth to mask chips, discolorations, gaps or other defects. They're custom-made by a dental lab to closely match an individual tooth's shape and color.
Gaining a new smile via dental veneers can take a few weeks, as well as two or more dental visits. But if you only have slight to moderate chipping, there's another way that might only take one session in the dentist's chair. Known as composite bonding, it utilizes plastic-based materials known as composite resins that are intermixed with a form of glass.
The initial mixture, color-matched for your tooth, has a putty-like consistency that can be easily applied to the tooth surface. We apply the composite resin to the tooth layer by layer, allowing a bonding agent in the mixture to cure each layer before beginning the next one. After sculpting the composite layers into a life-like appearance, the end result is a "perfect" tooth without visible flaws.
Unlike Brad Pitt, it's pretty unlikely you'll ever find yourself in a situation requiring you to purposely damage your teeth. But chips do happen—and if it happens to you, we have more than one way to make your teeth as good as new.
If you would like more information about repairing dental flaws with veneers or composite bonding, please contact us or schedule a consultation. To learn more, read the Dear Doctor magazine article “Artistic Repair of Front Teeth With Composite Resin.”
A Malocclusion—better known as a poor bite—can have far-ranging consequences that could follow a child into adulthood. Bite abnormalities make it more difficult to chew and digest food. And, misaligned teeth are also harder to keep clean, increasing the risk of dental disease.
But the good news is that we can often curb these long-term effects by discovering and treating a malocclusion early. A poor bite generally develops slowly with signs emerging as early as age 6. If you can pick up on such a sign, interventional treatment might even prevent a malocclusion altogether.
Here are 5 possible signs that might indicate your child is developing a poor bite.
Excessive spacing or crowding. A poor bite may be developing if the gaps between teeth seem unusually wide or, at the opposite spectrum, the teeth appear crooked or "bunched up" from crowding.
Underbite. In a normal bite the teeth on the upper jaw arch slightly cover the lower. If the opposite is true—the lower teeth are in front of the upper—then an underbite could be forming.
Open bite. Normally, when the jaws are shut, there is no open space between them. But if you notice a space still present between the upper and lower teeth when the jaws are shut, it may indicate an open bite.
Crossbite. This abnormal bite occurs when some of the lower teeth bite in front of the upper, while the remaining lower teeth are properly aligned behind the upper. Crossbites can occur with either the front or the back teeth.
Front teeth abnormalities. Front teeth especially can indicate a number of problems. In a deep bite, the upper front teeth extend too far over the lower teeth. Protrusion occurs when the upper teeth jut too far forward; in retrusion, the lower teeth seem to be farther back than normal.
See your dentist if you notice these signs or anything else unusual with your child's bite. Better yet, schedule a bite evaluation with an orthodontist when your child reaches age 6. Getting a head start on treating an emerging malocclusion can save them bigger problems down the road.
If you would like more information on malocclusions and their impact on your child's oral health, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Problems to Watch For in Children Ages 6 to 8.”